he auspicious year of 1957 is celebrated as the inaugural year of Maharishi’s worldwide Transcendental Meditation Movement, but Maharishi has explained that the Movement truly began in the blissful, infinite silence of his Master, Shri Guru Dev, Maha Yogiraj, His Divinity Brahmanand Saraswati, Maharaj, Jagatguru Bhagavan Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, Badrikashram, Himalayas. Guru Dev is revered as the embodiment of Vedic Wisdom closest to Maharishi in the great Tradition of Vedic Masters who have passed down the eternal wisdom of life from teacher to student since time immemorial.
‘The Vedic Tradition, upheld in its purity by a long history of custodians, enshrines the supreme knowledge of the integration of life. From time to time a revival of man’s understanding of the eternal wisdom of this Holy Tradition arises to rescue him from suffering, restoring him to the speedy path of evolution, and awakening him to a meaningful life in fulfilment. The Masters of this Tradition have been exponents of reality from earliest ages. In each new epoch, they have propounded the enduring truths of practical living and have set out those standards by which men’s lives may attain the highest achievements and fulfillment, generation after generation’ — Maharishi
In 1953, after twelve years of service to the feet of Guru Dev, Maharishi retired to the caves of the ‘Valley of the Saints’ in Uttar Kashi, high in the Himalayas. Deep in the silence of the Himalayas, the impulse of Nature itself led Maharishi in 1955 to leave his secluded life in Uttar Kashi and travel to the southern-most tip of India, with no other thought or plan in his mind than simply to follow the whisper of Nature, ‘Rameshvaram’*. But in this innocent move was contained the blueprint of a new age and a new civilization, just as the sprouting of a seed has all the vitality to expand and produce the fruit, season after season.
Years later Maharishi recalled: ‘Coming from the Himalayas, I had the thought—it was very fresh in mind—that it is not necessary for man to suffer. All the literature in India is full of beautiful exaltations. The Veda says, “Amritasya putra—“O sons of Immortality!”—addressing all mankind as sons of immortality. The Veda says, “Of Anand [bliss] all this is born, in Anand all this is sustained, and to Anand all this is going.” But where is the reality of this in the day-to-day life of the people?’ With singular purpose, Maharishi began to offer the technique of Transcendental Meditation in the name of Guru Dev, for people everywhere to experience unbounded Bliss Consciousness and integrate it into daily life. What emerges from the events of the next fifty-three years is a clear picture of how Nature, working through Maharishi, has changed the destiny of time from the suffering of ignorance to the dawn of a golden age—Sat-Yuga—Heaven on Earth.
Reflecting on Maharishi’s Achievements, we are reminded of words Maharishi used to describe the life of Guru Dev: ‘The greatest attainment of a saint is his life itself, the high edifice of realized Upanishadic living that develops from direct experience of reality. To understand that inner personality one must approach such realized souls with an open and receptive mind and try to visualize the great internal life that is the basis of their actual and real form of living.’
* Rameshvaram is an ancient centre of pilgrimage in South India.